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ANC in KZN accuses IFP of exploiting Zulu kingship for political gains

Amanda Khoza Presidency reporter
KwaZulu-Natal ANC chair and premier Sihle Zikalala says the ANC must do more to win back the hearts of the electorate. File photo.
KwaZulu-Natal ANC chair and premier Sihle Zikalala says the ANC must do more to win back the hearts of the electorate. File photo.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has launched a scathing attack on the IFP, accusing the party of using the Zulu monarch for political gains.

“We have seen the resurgence of the IFP from its political deathbed exploiting the Zulu national kingship.

“The IFP has reversed some of the revolutionary gains we have made in creating a province that is free from the yolk of tribalism by using this demon as a political tool to win the hearts and the minds of the people,” ANC provincial chair and premier Sihle Zikalala said on Sunday.  

Speaking during a two-day provincial executive committee (PEC) lekgotla at the Coastland Hotel in Durban, Zikalala was presumably criticising the role played by IFP founding president Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who is the Zulu nations’ traditional prime minister, after the death of King Goodwill Zwelithini.

Buthelezi has also been at the centre in the fight for kingship after some members of the royal family did not support King Misuzulu kaZwelithini as the rightful heir after the death of his mother Queen Mantfombi Dlamini.

Zikalala said: “This therefore means we have to work hard as the ANC to ensure we again continue to liberate the people of KwaZulu-Natal. I am sure all the traditional leaders will attest to this, that the ANC does not use ubukhosi for its own survival. We want an environment where Amakhosi [traditional leaders] will be supported by the government.”

What the ANC should not do, said Zikalala, is to “use traditional leaders for political gains as others are doing. We must be honest, lead with integrity and ensure we are supportive”.

Zikalala said the ANC must do more to win back the hearts of the electorate.

“We need to reflect publicly on the state of our organisation, analyse the decay and decline of our movement in recent decades. We must contextualise the regression and introduce a recovery approach.”  

He said the decay threatened the survival of the ANC and condemned the recent spate of political killings, saying the party cannot ignore the scourge of crime in the province.

“We need to continue to deal with the killing of political leaders. Last week we were burying a comrade. We are attending to this issue at a government level but we also need to deal with it as the ANC.

“We need to confront the heat in the ANC. If the issue is equally not about the ANC, then we must expose that. The reality is there are leaders in the ANC or masses involved in politics who are also involved in issues in the taxi industry or around traditional leadership.”

Zikalala said the party must pay attention to the killing of traditional leaders in the province.

He also said the ANC needed to deal with unemployment, poverty and inequality as “the standard of living is too costly and we need to do something about it. Rising inequality needs to be addressed”.

He told those in attendance that the ANC must be unapologetic about radical economic transformation (RET).

“This is our policy, it cannot be factionalised. There are those in the ANC who want us to negate radical economic transformation in favour of the neoliberal agenda. We must engage on that as we go to the national conference.”

Zikalala said the ANC cannot allow some to group themselves in corners and call themselves the “RET.”

“ RET is a policy. It is not a name of a group. You cannot take a policy of the ANC and appropriate it to yourself. That is tantamount to factionalising the programme of the movement. It is counterrevolutionary and some of those people were given opportunities to lead.”

On the upcoming national conference expected to take place in December, Zikalala said:  “We must stop this tendency of focusing on leadership issues only and neglecting political issues.”


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